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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : School (School of Social and Political Studies)

Undergraduate Course: Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World (SSPS08012)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryHow can we understand gender in the contemporary world? How is gender constructed in different contexts and what are the material consequences? How can gender analyses empower us to act as agents of personal and social change? This inter-disciplinary course provides an overview of the major issues at stake in the study of gender relations from a broadly social science perspective. It introduces students to gender studies as a theoretical field of investigation, examining key concepts and debates in the field. Students will explore issues of power, inequality, intersectionality, change and resistance through contemporary examples of 'doing gender' around the world. In doing so, this course equips students - as 21st Century graduates - with awareness and understanding of global inequalities based on gender, race, class, and sexuality, as well as basic tools to undertake gender analysis.

Course description This course provides a rigorous but accessible introduction to the study of gender relations as a theoretical, social, cultural, political and historical field of investigation. Using an inter-disciplinary social science approach, it examines how gender shapes how we conceptualize and organise the world: how are masculinity and femininity constructed in different contexts and with what material effects? How does gender intersect with race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability and other structures of power? How can gender analyses empower us to act as agents of personal and social change?

Each week, students will be introduced to key concepts and issues including sex, gender, sexuality, intersectionality, power, masculinities/femininities, and the body. They will then explore these concepts through key contemporary examples of gender research including, for example: family, work and care; gender and political representation; media and film; sexual harassment, consent and violence; globalisation and migration; and war, peace and security. While the focus of the course is on gender relations, it takes an intersectional approach.

The aim of this course is to equip students with the concepts and tools needed to carry out a gender analysis of texts, images, institutions and contexts, as well as provide an introduction to a wide range of global gender issues. At the end of this course, students should be able to use these basic tools of gender analysis to begin to identify how power relations based on gender affect their own lives and how these power dynamics affect the lives of others on local, national, and global scales.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  284
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Online Activities 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 153 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 10% Tutorial Participation
30% Gender Observation
60% Long Essay
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show a critical understanding of the concept of gender, including its relational, institutional and symbolic dimensions;
  2. Identify and reflect on how power relations based on gender, race, class and sexuality affect their own lives and how these power dynamics affect the lives of others on local, national, and global scales;
  3. Apply theoretical gender debates and practical tools to real-world issues;
  4. Equip themselves with the skills and knowledge required for a gendered analysis of texts, images, institutions and contexts;
  5. Acquire the background understanding of key concepts and issues in gender studies that will enable them to contextualize their later learning in this area.
Reading List
Connell, R.W. and R. Pearse (2015) Gender in World Perspective. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Polity.

Wade, L. and M.M. Ferree (2014) Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. New York: W.W. Norton.

Evans, M. and C. Williams (eds) (2013) Gender: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge.

Holmes, M. (2007) What is Gender? London: Sage.

Cranny-Francis, A., W. Waring, P. Stavropoulos, and J. Kirby (2003) Gender Studies: Terms and Debates. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in:
- Communication and Research - analysing evidence and using this to develop and support a line of argument in oral and written work;
- Critical Analysis - comparing, contrasting and evaluating different arguments in the work of other authors;
- Project Management - working independently and as part of groups, prioritising objectives, and working to deadlines;
- IT - locating material online, using blogs, LEARN and other online resources;
- Social Responsibility - developing an awareness of gender
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Meryl Kenny
Tel: (0131 6)51 1480
Course secretaryMr Ewen Miller
Tel: (0131 6)50 3925
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